xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage
Director – DJ Caruso
Cast – Vin Diesel, Deepika Padukone, Donnie Yen, Tony Jaa, Ruby Rose, Nina Dobrev, Kris Wu, Toni Collette, Samuel L Jackson
xXx: Return of Xander Cage is the third movie in the XXX series or should we say the action trip, following XXX (2002) and XXX: State of the Union (2005) franchise (albeit with IceCube) and now 12 years later we have the third installment again with Vin Diesel.

Now this is a real big screen spectacle by Director D.J. Caruso. A satellite crashes to Earth with fatal consequences including the death of a very important member of XXX. The CIA gets to know that the attack was a preplanned terror strike by a group led by Xiang (Donnie Yen), Serena Unger (Deepika Padukone), Michael Bisping, and Tony Jaa.

They have acquired the Pandora’s Box, a thingamabob which is a device that controls every military satellite in the world. Fear and panic strikes. Pandora’s Box need to come back to where it belongs. Government predicts global threat after the CIA headquarters in New York is infiltrated by this gang.

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Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) is pulled out of retirement by Jane Marke (Toni Collette). He is the only solution. Now he does not work alone unlike earlier. Xander’s hand picked team comes with its own skill set. The team includes a sharp shooting sniper Adele Wolff (Ruby Rose), hacker cum xXx program’s tech assistant Becky (Nina Dobrev), mentor and recruiter Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson)(he gets killed and Xander wants to revenge his death), a DJ (Kris Wu), Tennyson (Rory McCann), and Harvard “Nicks” Zhou (Kris Wu).

Their mission is to track down Pandora’s Box in limited time and return it to NSA before Xiang (Donnie Yen) gets to the device and derails the xXx program. This is not entirely an easy task when conspiracy and collusion from top down is involved and xXx members themselves have stolen it. Now they all group up to stop the real villains who plans to re-purpose the evil technology to spy on normal citizens thereby controlling normal life.

 

Vin Diesel is the ever smiling in adversity movie star, he has a magnetic pull, hand crafted by God and perfected on earth. His bravura and smile are what he is known for and his performance is his charm and his trademark. There are certain things only a Vin Diesel movie can do and this movie is an absolute proof of the same.

The rest of the cast is ethnically and global. Diverse with great racial representation. Deepika Padukone’s character Serena Unger is given decent screen time and space, no imposed fake accent and her character is the only one with a back story. She is the newness in the whole movie and she adds her oomph and intelligent bit. She exudes warmth, confidence and a certain Asian spark. Deepika has excellent chemistry with Vin Diesel and is shown having a romantic liason with Cage..

Donnie Yen kills it. He ups the standard and from his last outing and he has been a surprise package. Yen is brilliant effortless actor apart from being a Mixed Martial Arts fighter. Tony Jaa and Micheal Bisping are superb performers and martial arts fighters too and fluidity in action sequence is visible.

 

Well, the villains do want to literally drop satellites on random locations and cause ore trouble and our Xander Cage is equipped to chase this down and deal with it. Screenplay is by F. Scott Frazier has fighting, extreme sports, lots of stunts, bike chases on land and on water, parachuteless jumps off a plane, martial arts sequences, shooting, chases, explosions, a jump from a tall tower, skiing through the jungle, surfing on a motorcycle, weightless fighting in a nose-diving plane. Gore is less, noisy stunts, fights, and glamorous out of the world women overfills he screen. So this is “paisa –vassool” movie if this reads like your menu card for action.

 

Now xXx is not a thought provoking cinematic experience, it speaks pure action only and is addictive. It is all brawns and very little brains. It is meant to stay that way. It clearly has a target audience and everybody will definitely watch it at least once. Action lovers will love it to heaven in all its two hours of adrenaline rush. Watch it. Watch the chiseled Diesel muscles, and if you are an Indian, one more reason is apni own desi Deepika makes her debut in Hollywood.

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